Difference Between Hackers and Crackers

Difference Between Hackers and Crackers

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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Jan 20, 2023 17:14 IST

The article aims to clear the confusion between hackers and crackers and covers the difference between hackers and crackers.


Global cyber-attacks increased by 38% in 2022 as compared to 2021, reports Check Point Research (CPR). These cyber-attack numbers were driven by smaller, more agile ransomware gangs, who focused on exploiting collaboration tools used in work-from-home environments, targeting education institutions that shifted to e-learning post-COVID-19.

Usually, these digital aggressions are attributed to what we all know as a hacker. But hacker is not always the correct term to use. Have you heard of crackers?? As this concept may be less familiar to you, we will analyze the main differences between hackers and crackers, two types of people with very different objectives and how to protect yourself from such nuisance in this article.


Must Read – What is Cyber Security?

What is a Hacker?

A hacker is someone with sufficient computer knowledge to enter a foreign system and be able to manipulate it. They do it for fun or for professional reasons to help improve system security.

Also Read – Types Of Hackers To Be Aware Of In 2023

What is a Cracker?

The term cracker is derived from the word “break.” A cracker is a person who tries to access a computer system without authorization. The term identifies malicious individuals who act with a single objective: to violate a cyber system’s security illegally.

Therefore, unlike hackers, their goals are almost always malicious. Crackers use their technical knowledge exclusively to invade systems, decipher keys and passwords, steal data, and other illegal digital uses. Their modus operandi is based on exploiting the vulnerabilities of computer programs and systems, assaulting private information to make personal and use it maliciously.

Related – What Is A Black Hat Hacker & What Can He Do?

What Are The Main Differences Between Hackers And Crackers?

Although hackers and crackers are often thought of as the same thing, the only thing they truly have in common is their passion for computing and their talent for discovering and exploiting vulnerabilities.

Must Read – White Hat vs Black Hat Hackers: What’s the Difference?

A hacker also modifies software or hardware systems, but their goal is usually to detect security gaps to develop new functions and adaptations that make those systems more secure. All this without causing harm to users. Therefore, the term hacker is commonly misused, giving it a negative meaning.

On the contrary, the cracker’s actions only seek to damage the systems, trying to create as much damage as possible for their own personal or economic benefit. They carry out an activity without the knowledge and permission of the system’s owner.

The technical abilities of hackers and crackers are another element of differentiation. A computer hacker is a specialized professional with deep knowledge of software development, systems, or network architectures. On the other hand, the cracker does not need this training and experience: it is enough for him to know how to break the security of programs and systems.

You can also visit – What is Spyware & How to Protect Yourself From It?

Comparison Table – Hackers vs Crackers

Hacker  Cracker 
A person with advanced computer skills who use such learning to improve the security of a system or network. They use computer software created to detect possible vulnerabilities in systems and study these weak points and look for the best way to access these security holes.
They are professionals fixing computer security issues. They have advanced computer knowledge and can generate and design intrusive tools to break into computer systems.
Constructive  Destructive
They search for security flaws in different services to send a report explaining the problem and ways to correct it. They sell the sensitive information obtained or expose it on the network to generate damage.
They seek to learn to improve the security of computer systems. They usually exploit vulnerabilities and share them with third parties in Dark Web forums.

You can also explore – What is a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack?

8 Tips To Protect Yourself From A Hack Or Crack

  • Unique passwords for each account. If a cybercriminal obtains it, they will not be able to access any more confidential information. Also, learn how to create strong passwords, so your private data remains private. 
  • Never make banking transactions or access web pages where you have to log in from public computers or the ones you don’t own.  
  • Update the software on your computers and devices to make them less vulnerable to attack. You can use automatic updates. 
  • Change default usernames and passwords for your new smart devices and home router.  
  • Disable the autofill function because the stored information may be the first accessed by the hacker to know your data. 
  • Browse websites that comply with the HTTPS protocol. It is an easy way to verify that the page is secure. You can also verify that it has a small, closed lock icon next to the browser bar.  
  • Enable two-step authentication as a second security barrier. 
  • Install antivirus on your devices and update with the latest versions.  
About the Author
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio